When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30
People do not choose to be born, nor do they usually choose to die.
God did choose to be born, when Jesus came into our world. God did choose to suffer death when Jesus was crucified. That is the stupendous truth of Christianity – that God loved the world so much that he humbled and limited himself to this extent.
God exists from all eternity, yet is born in time. He is immortal, yet chooses mortality. As Charles Wesley wrote in his hymn: “’Tis mystery all; the Immortal dies!” In doing this, God’s nature is revealed; the Divine is loving, humble and self-sacrificing. When we look at Jesus, we see what God is like, and he calls us to be like him. God gave himself away by Jesus’ birth and death. When we are tempted to defend Christianity from its attackers, we should remember that God has been abused to the utmost on the cross and was not defeated. In his dying and death, Jesus is our inspiration, whatever life is throwing at us.
Father, may we know more and more the love you show us in the birth, life and death of Jesus. Reveal through us the redeemer’s love for the world. Amen.
Revd Canon Alma Servant, Former Rector of the Ascension, Hulme.
Now move on to the Thirteenth Station.